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Italian labels & Italian fakes

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Italian labels & Italian fakes

Postby Springvloed » Wed May 17, 2006 12:20 pm

I've noticed that many of the malt whisky bottles released in Italy have (or used to have) different labels then anywhere else. Does anyone know what the reason behind this is/was?

I've also heard that Italy is the country where a large number of fake whiskies come from. Don't know if this is true but have noticed that on average there is a large number of vintage Macallans on offer from Italian ebay sellers and also read somewhere that most fake bottles discovered so far are Macallans. Can anyone confirm this?
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Postby Mr Ellen » Wed May 17, 2006 1:10 pm

Except for the Whisky Magazine there's a good page at Malt Maniacs website. Here's the address:
http://www.maltmaniacs.com/fake.html

I too, have noticed that Italy has been the main market for fakes (specially Macallan seems to origin from here) but several very old bottlings from other distilleries have also been questioned.
There are some good stories regarding the Laphroaig Highgrove Edition and the 30year olds that are well worth reading. I am sure Lawrence here on the forum can tell you more regarding this...or read the story here:
http://www.maltmaniacs.com/mm11.html#11-08

For further reading about fakes, check WM, issues 28 and 31.

If you come across a bottle that you suspect is fake you can always ask here for help or contact the Malt Maniacs for further investigation.


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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed May 17, 2006 3:17 pm

Some years ago I heard from Macallan that the 3 largest / most valuable Macallan collections were in Italy.
Italy does seem to like The Macallan as a brand and, as The Macallan has been very collectible for many years now, constantly increasing in value, it is no surprise that The Macallan is a target for forgers.

I guess the most famous and well known examples are the series of very old Macallans bought by the distillery themselves.

Maltmaniacs is a good site, especially when it comes to identifying fakes.

Regards,
WH
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Postby Lawrence » Wed May 17, 2006 3:48 pm

Mr. Ellen, I've not read that srtory for quite a while and it's worth noting that Allied replaced all the bottles for all the sellers, myself included, which I thought was very, very decent of them.

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Postby Mr Ellen » Wed May 17, 2006 7:08 pm

Lawrence wrote:Mr. Ellen, I've not read that srtory for quite a while and it's worth noting that Allied replaced all the bottles for all the sellers, myself included, which I thought was very, very decent of them.
Lawrence


Yes, it was a remarkable feat as they didn't have anything to do with it. Honours to Allied for handling the matter in such an extraordinary good manner.
Have you drunk the replacement bottle?? :wink:

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Postby Iain » Wed May 17, 2006 10:07 pm

WH wrote "I guess the most famous and well known examples are the series of very old Macallans bought by the distillery themselves. "

According to the company, they were actually bought by a whisky rep working in Turkey, and deposited on loan at the distillery - a hard-to-believe claim, it must be said, given other statements that emanated from the Mac people when the doodoo hit the fan.

And they weren't "very old" Macallans at all, as the firm was forced to admit after submitting them to tests (not without a great deal of prodding from this forum, and in WM)!

An ignominious affair, badly handled, that destroyed the credibility of Mac's pr and marketing folks for many people.
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Postby PuckJunkie » Wed May 17, 2006 10:35 pm

So what was the final verdict on those replica bottles? Did anyone ever confirm whether the malts they were based on were actually from the 19th century, or that they were conclusively based on fakes? I've read every thread I could find, but it seemed to be speculation as to what was actually fake and what wasn't.

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Postby Iain » Wed May 17, 2006 11:01 pm

The test results were reported in Whisky Mag and many Scottish newspapers. Not sure how many stories appeared on-line, but here's the WM report and forum reaction...

http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1389

The Scotsman reported it thus:

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=553442004
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 18, 2006 9:33 am

Sorry Iain, as the tests show I agree they weren't very old. But they were supposed to be!
These were bought, as I have read in many different publications, by the distillery as very old bottlings. My belief is that these could have been the basis, as in giving Macallan the idea of creating their series of replicas.


As it turns out, this did indeed somewhat backfire and I feel has harmed Macallan's image in the collectible market. The single factor which probably caused most harm was their reluctance to admit the fakes for so long!

WH
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu May 18, 2006 3:48 pm

Yes, one of the greatest, (if not the greatest!) Macallan collectors is Giuseppe Begnoni in Bologna, Italy.
http://www.whiskyparadise.com/
This was confirmed by a Macallan ambassador I recently met. Giuseppe is called upon frequently when Macallan is looking for certain bottles, vintages, etc. Two of the Macallan bottles I saw last year have a value of approximately 30,000-40,000 Euro each.
His collection of not only Macallan but other whiskies is more than breathtaking. It's overwhelming! And his wherehouse next door, his stock he sells from, has many vintage Macallans still in their original cases and packaging.
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Postby Aidan » Thu May 18, 2006 4:16 pm

Rome is one of the most wonderful places I've ever been, but I felt that everyone was trying to rip me off. Nobody had change! I think that's the price you pay for being such a popular tourist destination. I'd go back to either place in an instant, though.

The people in Florence were much nicer.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 18, 2006 4:18 pm

Aidan wrote:The people in Florence were much nicer.


Especially Zebedee
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Postby Aidan » Thu May 18, 2006 4:22 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
Aidan wrote:The people in Florence were much nicer.


Especially Zebedee


We didn't get to see Zebedee, as it wasn't springtime.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 18, 2006 4:31 pm

:lol:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 18, 2006 4:50 pm

Di Blasi,
I'll take a look at that link later, it sounds impressive.

One collector I do know about has http://www.bestwhisky.com
This is also a stunning collection.

Regards,
WH
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Postby Lawrence » Thu May 18, 2006 5:57 pm

Mr. Ellen, I have not yet opened my two replacment Laphroiag 30's but I getting close. An intersting side note to this story is that I actaully bought 3 bottles of the L30 from the seller in question and a person I know bought one of the bottles. I told him it was a fake and he passed it off to a number of my friends as the real thing when they visited his house for drams. This annoyed me greatly and his bottle was not replaced at my request since it seems he had not suffered at all! :evil:
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Postby Iain » Thu May 18, 2006 6:28 pm

WH, who is the Italian collector at Bestwhisky.com? Some of his bottles look very familiar!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 18, 2006 6:48 pm

Hi Iain,
I first came across this guy through Ebay.de when I bought an 18 y/o from him.
It would take me a little research, but I will see if I can at least identify his Ebay ID and PM you.

I won't post exact details on here.

Earlier today I was browsing through a few whisky sites: Maltmadness, Peatfreak, Ulf Buxrud, malt maniacs (fakes page) plus a few others and this site was certainly listed in some of the 'links' sections.

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Postby Di Blasi » Thu May 18, 2006 9:21 pm

Italy is Italy! A beautiful, wonderful and very special place! Being half Italian, (having most of my family still there and spending lots of time there throughout my life), I can also say it's a "survival of the fittest mentality" so to speak. Not only do you have to watch your change and wallet, etc, you have to be aware of the shoes on your feet, as they may be stolen while you're walking around enjoying the sites. My grandfather says "Italy is the most beautiful country in the world, but too bad it's full of Italians!"
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Postby Aidan » Thu May 18, 2006 9:30 pm

Di Blasi wrote:Italy is Italy! A beautiful, wonderful and very special place! Being half Italian, (having most of my family still there and spending lots of time there throughout my life), I can also say it's a "survival of the fittest mentality" so to speak. Not only do you have to watch your change and wallet, etc, you have to be aware of the shoes on your feet, as they may be stolen while you're walking around enjoying the sites. My grandfather says "Italy is the most beautiful country in the world, but too bad it's full of Italians!"


Rome is jaw dropping, so you have to be careful your golf fillings aren't taken. New York was the same. Great great place, but the people weren't very nice at all. This is very strange, as I believe the Americans are the most hospitable people in the western world.
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu May 18, 2006 9:35 pm

And oh, Italy, oddly in and around Bologna, there are a number of big collectors and special whisky shops or restaurants with an impressiv selection.
I also highly reccomend Kik Bar, (aka The Whisky House, which I can't find a site for now), reasonable prices, good selection!
And also...
http://www.astratta.com/bointav/navile.htm
Which I have heard the food is very good, but expensive, but again, one of the best collections in the world too!
And to help better understand Italians passion for whisky...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/097095 ... e&n=283155
Also available at the Whisky Exchange.
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu May 18, 2006 9:40 pm

It always depends on the individual's experiences I think. New York had a bad reputation years ago, but when I was there visiting in 2000, I was quite impressed with their friendliness, and directness. Americans are super friendly and open and wonderful when you're there just visiting, true Aidan. I lived most of my life in California, and superficial is also a good descriptive for many folks there. Again, wonderful and pleasant on a surface level, but true friends are hard to come by, and takes lots of time.
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Postby Aidan » Thu May 18, 2006 9:57 pm

I suppose America is a big place too, with all sorts of people. I was in New York in the 80s too, but was too young to apprieciate anything that was gonig on really.

When I went there last year, it had changed hugely. The steak in Keane's Chophouse was worth the trip alone.
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu May 18, 2006 10:57 pm

Excellent point Aidan, well put! America will count 300 million in October, and yes, lots of very different and wonderful people there! I'll be visiting New York in September, and will have to visit Keane's Chophouse! Any other recomendations or "whisky spots" you found? Did you visit Park Avenue Liquors?
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Postby Aidan » Fri May 19, 2006 7:13 am

I didn't go to any whisky bars when in New York, but did go to Park Avenue Liquors. I think I remember it not being on Park Avenue! I regret not buying the Ardbeg they had bottled.

The first person I encountered on the way into New York was a customs official. If I wasn't afraid of being turned on my heals and sent back to Ireland, I would have taken him up on his behavior.
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Postby Aidan » Fri May 19, 2006 7:15 am

Di Blasi wrote:Excellent point Aidan, well put! America will count 300 million in October, and yes, lots of very different and wonderful people there! I'll be visiting New York in September, and will have to visit Keane's Chophouse! Any other recomendations or "whisky spots" you found? Did you visit Park Avenue Liquors?


...and the population could be down to 250 million if they start chucking out all the illegals!
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri May 19, 2006 9:34 am

If you're speaking of the Park Avenue special bottling of OMC Ardbeg 12y rum cask finish, yes it's excellent! Perhaps on your next visit you can pick up another of their special bottlings as I've heard they're usually all good. Sorry to hear about the customs officer, but not surprised. They certainly do have a warm and welcoming way to scare people!
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Postby Aidan » Fri May 19, 2006 10:26 am

Di Blasi wrote:If you're speaking of the Park Avenue special bottling of OMC Ardbeg 12y rum cask finish, yes it's excellent! Perhaps on your next visit you can pick up another of their special bottlings as I've heard they're usually all good. Sorry to hear about the customs officer, but not surprised. They certainly do have a warm and welcoming way to scare people!


Di Blasi, it was an old malt cask but I don't remember it being a rum finish, although it could have been. They were very entheusiastic about it in the shop. There's also a good shop quite nearby, but I don't know the area well enough to say for sure where it was. Might have been on Lexington Avenue.
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri May 19, 2006 2:25 pm

Nice to hear about the other shop, thanks! Do you remember the name by chance??
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Postby Aidan » Fri May 19, 2006 3:03 pm

I can't remember the name, but I'll have a look and see if I can find it online.
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Postby Iain » Fri May 19, 2006 11:39 pm

As this seems to have developed (re the past dozen posts or so) into something which has nothing to do with collectors; corners; Italian labels or fakes, would it be a good idea to move it to a new Whisky Chat thread?

Just a thought . I like visiting Rome and NY too, so please don't think I'm being huffy.

And I agree America is a big place :D
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